Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I need a plan. An organizational system. A method. I've been snatching and grabbing green ideas out of the air as they appeared kinda like this guy (only with out the badass mullet and mustache):  

If it sounds doable, I've been doing it, with no real rhyme or reason. I need to figure sift out a method in all this madness, so I can see where action still needs to be taken, and what's going well. 

So today's recap day. Looking back at the carbon footprint calculator that I started with, here's the analysis of what we've done so far using the site's categories:

- Electricity
  • Raised the temperature on the air conditioner to 78 degrees 
  • Opened the windows at night to help the upstairs cool
  • Turned off the dry cycle on the dishwasher
  • Changed dishwasher setting from "Heavy" to "Normal"
  • Installed small night lights in/near the kids' rooms so they wouldn't sleep with the bathroom lights on
  • Been extra vigilant about turning off lights when we leave the room
  • Only turn lights on when sunlight just won't cut it.
- Natural Gas
  • Turned down the water heater from 145(ish) degrees to 130 degrees  

- Water
  • Stopped pre-washing with running water, use small amount of water in sink
  • Use kitchen timer to remind us to move the sprinkler
  • Put bucket in shower to catch water as we wait for the water to heat up, use the bucket full of water in the yard
  • Walked more (we walked home from the music festival, we also walked to & from the video store)
- Food
  • Made one meatless meal per week
  • Bought in bulk when possible to save packaging
  • Planned meals based on what was in the cabinets (rather than what sounded good at the time) to purchase less
- Cleaning products
  • Made our own toilet cleaner
  • Made our own all-purpose cleaner (stored in a reused pop bottle)
- Reusing
  • Bought & used reusable shopping bags
  • Made pop bottle banks and toys
  • Used baby snack canister to store bulk baking soda
  • Started a bag to collect containers for future reuse
- Recycling
  • Recycle everything possible
  • Put recycling container in the office for paper waste

Not bad for two weeks at it, actually. I think a goal a week in each category is doable, so that's the plan. I'll do a weekly recap on Wednesday, and set new goals.

GOALS FOR 8/4 - 8/11

Electricity: I'm going to build a clothesline this week to line dry our clothes
Natural Gas: I'm going to use lower water heat settings for laundry
Water: I'm going to set a timer and time my showers to see how long I take, and then set a goal for reducing that time.

I'm going to look into carpooling the kids to & from football practice.

Food: I'm going to buy a steamer and start preparing some baby food at home.
Cleaning products: I'm going to fiddle with the all-purpose cleaner mix, it's leaving a gritty residue
Reusing: I'm going to make a good storage place to put reusable items, right now they're just in a bag hanging from a cabinet in the kitchen
Recycling: I'm going to research all the rules & regs of our local recycling center to make sure I'm not screwing that up.

Wow...that's a lot. Here's hoping...

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